Maarten Pouw
CEO
DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals
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View from the Top

Global Leader in Antibiotics Prioritizes Responsibility

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 16:34

Q: What solutions does DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals propose to the growing anti-microbial resistance (AMR) problem?

A: There is increasing evidence that API manufacturers that do not adequately treat waste products contribute to the problem. Releasing high concentrations of antibiotic active ingredients into the environment creates “reservoirs” of antibiotic resistant bacteria that can be easily propagated due to increased global travel. At DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals we strongly believe in producing APIs in the most responsible and sustainable way. Regulation concerning wastewater disposal is definitely needed but its implementation can take several years. In October 2014, we launched our sustainable antibiotics program, which initially targeted our in-house wastewater treatment. We have already implemented basic requirements for clean and sustainable antibiotics production at all our sites. These include the use of technology with the lowest environmental impact throughout our supply chain, dedicated wastewater treatment plants at every antibiotic manufacturing site and antimicrobial activity testing.

Q: How are private companies pushing forward on this issue? What dangers does AMR pose to global health?

A: DSM participated alongside 12 leading biopharma companies in the generation of the UN General Assembly’s Roadmap to Combat AMR. The AMR Industry Alliance was established in May 2017 to review progress on the commitments made by the Roadmap. This alliance is chaired by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and warns that 700,000 people worldwide die from resistant bacteria annually. Of those, 50,000 die in the US and Europe alone. Furthermore, 58,000 newborn babies die each year in India as a result of drug-resistant infections and almost every minute a child under five dies from pneumonia, for a total of 410,000, according to the NCDC India. In the US, two million people contract a serious antibioticresistant infection every year, of which 23,000 will die. By 2050, over 10 million people will die from resistant bacteria every year, costing the global economy US$100 trillion per year.

Q: What does Mexico represent for DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals within LATAM and globally?

A: In terms of size, Mexico is our second-largest market in Latin America after Brazil, followed by Colombia and Argentina. We truly believe in the strong potential of the Mexican pharmaceutical industry, as the country is the 11th market for pharmaceuticals in the world. In addition, it is important to mention that Mexico is considered a gateway to the rest of the countries in Latin America and the US due to its location.

Q: What are the main challenges DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals face in the Mexican health sector? How does it overcome them?

A: DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals is the only producer of antibiotics in Mexico so we are in the spotlight of Mexican regulators. The sense of urgency in Mexico is entirely different from that of countries with a larger antibiotics industry, such as India or China, but the commitment exists and there is significant debate nationally and regionally on the regulation of antibiotics. We actively communicate all information related to AMR to our public and private stakeholders in Latin America. We know it will be difficult to solve such a large challenge by ourselves so we are constantly communicating with the sector. I am proud to say that the response has been positive so far and we are glad to be leading such a process in the region because it ensures that DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals will be able to anticipate any regulatory change in this area.

Q: What products will be game-changers in the next year?

A: We have well-established products in our portfolio that have been commercialized for a long time. These products enjoy a stable and steady sales performance. As part of our corporate business development strategy, we also expect strong growth in cardiovascular and antifungal product sales.